Aberdeenshire Council achieves gold award for work with armed forces, families, veterans and cadets

Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson said armed forces personnel make "huge sacrifices" to keep us all safe
Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson said armed forces personnel make "huge sacrifices" to keep us all safe

Aberdeenshire Council has been awarded the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme ‘gold award’ by the Ministry of Defence.

The award has been received in commemoration of the support shown by the council to members of the armed forces and their families.

Provost of Aberdeenshire Cllr Bill Howatson, who is also the council’s armed forces champion, said: “Members of the armed forces make huge sacrifices to keep us safe, as well

as ensuring we enjoy freedoms we often take for granted.

“It is right and fitting that those serving in the armed forces, veterans and families are acknowledged for their dedication and sacrifice. I am glad that Aberdeenshire Council has

played a small part in this by receiving this award.”

Cllr Ron McKail, Deputy Provost and veterans champion said: “I have been hugely impressed by the veterans who have established businesses to help our communities after they have

finished their service in the armed forces.

"It is vital that the sacrifices of those serving in the armed forces are acknowledged. Many spend time away from friends, family and loved ones.

During active service they put their lives at risk whilst dealing with very dangerous and demanding situations.”

As part of its work to support the armed forces, the council has offered support to employees who are reservists who may be mobilised; allowed staff to take paid leave to attend armed

forces training camps; held an annual flag raising ceremony bringing together councillors, veterans, and colleagues together to mark our thanks, commitment, support and respect and

pride in the work of the council, armed forces, family members of those serving in the armed forces and cadets.

This has been augmented by the creation of external and internal social media accounts with the intention of creating a safe forum for reservists, veterans and those connected or

interested in the armed forces to have friendly discussions, learn about upcoming events and receive support if needed.

Plans for the future include guaranteeing interviews to veterans for jobs where they meet the essential criteria, making more effective use of the Career Transition Partnership in the

recruitment of service leavers, providing work placements to assist with transition and exploring how to better support any Cadet Force Adult Volunteers who are employees.

There will be a formal ceremony in London in November where Provost Howatson and chief executive Jim Savege will receive the award on the council’s behalf.